New Delhi: Noting that government is closely watching the infrastructure development by China in the border regions, government on Monday told the Lok Sabha that required measures are being undertaken to upgrade India's defence capability and preparedness in these areas.

"Government is closely watching all developments on the borders and reviews the threat perception regularly. Required measures are being undertaken to upgrade our capabilities to achieve the desired defence preparedness to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India," Defence Minister A K Antony said.

Antony was replying to a question on Chinese infrastructure build-up and modernization activities in border areas. The question was raised by more than 32 Members of Parliament.

"As there is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, there are a few areas along the border where India and China have different perceptions of LAC. Both sides patrol upto their respective perception of LAC due to perceived difference in its alignment," he said.

On measures taken to safeguard these areas, the Defence Minister said "these areas are kept under constant surveillance by regular patrolling by troops and other means."

Any specific incident of transgression due to differences in the perception of LAC are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as hot lines, flag meetings, border personnel meetings and diplomatic channels, he said.

On construction of strategic roads along the Chinese border, he said "construction of new lines Sivok-Rangpo (44.39 Km) and Murkongselek-Pasighat (30.617 Km) and Rangiya-Murkongselek (511.88 Km) have been taken up in North-Eastern Region in areas close to international border with China." 

On other strategic road projects taken up by BRO, Antony said, "out of 73 roads identified as strategic border roads, Border Roads Organization has been entrusted with 61 roads of total length of 3394 Km in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh."

Out of 61 roads, 15 roads of length 563.87 Km have already been completed and work is in progress on 44 roads. Two roads works have not commenced. Out of total 3394 Km length, 2562 Km formation and 1794 Km surfacing works have been completed, he said.

The Defence Minister said BRO had in last five years utilized funds worth Rs 1897 crore to carry out construction works on these projects.

Replying to a question whether Pakistani and Chinese armies are conducting a joint exercise on Pakistani side close to Jaisalmer border in Rajasthan, Antony said "there is no information regarding the conduct of a joint military exercise of Pakistani and Chinese armies nearly 25 kms away from the border area of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan."

"As per the Indo-Pakistan Border Agreement, each side has to give prior notice for any joint military exercise to be carried within the radius of 50-75 Km along the Line of Control (LOC)," he said.

On deployment of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, "deployment of troops in J and K is a dynamic process and is continuously reviewed based on overall security situation."

India wants more market access in China

The government on Monday said it is pursuing market access issues with China for Indian products, a move which will help in bridging the rising trade deficit.

In 2010-11, India's exports to China stood at USD 19.61 billion, while imports were USD 43.47 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 23.86 billion.

"We are also pursuing market access issues to tackle non-tariff barriers in the Chinese market at different fora," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

He said that Indian exporters are encouraged to participate in major trade fairs in China to show-case their products and increase engagement with Chinese companies.

"Participation of Indian exporters in trade fairs educates the Chinese importers about niche Indian products. Business to Business relations are encouraged through schemes such Market Access Initiative/ Market Development Assistance," he said.

Agencies